WHO research underlines importance of Hivos and SNV Biogas Digester Programmes

April 4, 2014

According to new estimates released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, around 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of air pollution exposure. This means one in eight of total global deaths per year can be traced back to air pollution.

The report concludes that the health risks related to air pollution are far greater than estimated in former studies. After analysing various risk factors, the WHO estimates that indoor air pollution (IAP) was linked to 4.3 million deaths in 2012 in households cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves, almost all of which are located in low and middle income (LMI) countries. Women and children experience higher personal exposure levels than adult men as they are often indoors when cooking. These new estimates are based on information about pollution exposure among the estimated 2.9 billion people living in homes using wood, coal or dung as their primary cooking fuel, as well as evidence about air pollution’s role in the development of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancers.

The Hivos and SNV Biogas Digester Programmes in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America started out as a sustainable way for individual households with livestock to reduce dependence on firewood and expensive fossil fuels and gain access to energy. However, as the WHO research shows, these programmes are just as much about saving lives as they are about providing a sustainable and inexpensive way for farmers to access energy.

Find out more about our various biogas digester and improved cookstove programmes:

First example of a biogas programme in Latin America and the Caribbean: http://www.hivos.org/activity/programa-nacional-de-biogas

National Biodigester Program (NBP), Cambodia: http://www.hivos.org/activity/national-biodigester-program-nbp

Africa Biogas Partnership Programme, Africa Wide: http://www.hivos.org/activity/africa-biogas-partnership-programme-0

Indonesia Domestic Biogas Programme: http://www.hivos.org/activity/indonesia-domestic-biogas-programme

FOCAEP is the first pro-poor energy fund in Central America: http://www.hivos.org/activity/programa-regional-de-energia-y-pobreza